The consequences of plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious issue with major consequences. Merriam-Webster defines plagiarism as, “To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source.”

There are many types of plagiarism and many students don’t even know when they are plagiarizing. Submitting someone else’s work as your own is considered plagiarism. If you quote text or use a photograph or graphic without citing the source you are committing plagiarism. Even if you reword or paraphrase a quote, you must give credit.

Plagiarism is quite common among high school students. The Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics surveyed 43,000 high school students and found that one out of three students admitted to using the internet to plagiarize school work.

Graphic by Dana Dauletgalikyzy

Committing plagiarism can have serious consequences, even going as far as expulsion from school or a lawsuit. Students lose trust from their peers and teachers when they are caught plagiarizing.

Key West High School has a strict plagiarism policy. If you are caught plagiarizing you will receive a zero for the work in which you plagiarized. You cannot make you any work that you plagiarized on. The punishment is Saturday School and up to ten days of in-school or out-of-school suspension.

It’s ideal that you learn how to properly cite sources early in your education in order to avoid plagiarism errors in your future academic and professional careers.

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